Eddie Griffin took time from his full-time job of making people laugh to join a Motown revue on Tuesday afternoon.
Afterward, he made a couple of brazen predictions for Lady Gaga, co-star of “A Star is Born,” in which Griffin has a cameo.
“She can sing, and she can act, too, we found that out,” Griffin said. “I predict she’s going to win the Golden Globe, and I’m predicting she’ll win the Oscar, too.”
The comic actor, veteran stand-up and headliner at The Sayers Club at SLS Las Vegas joined the vocal group Early Clover & Friends at a charity benefit at The Shade Tree women’s shelter on Monday afternoon. His arrival was at once expected and unannounced, as he cut into the group’s performance of the Temptations’ “The Way You Do The Things You Do.” Griffin sang impressively, grooved in step with the band, and drew a huge cheer from the families assembled.
Griffin was the star of the 6th Annual Holiday Give Back donation campaign’s closing party. Las Vegas entrepreneur Darin Feinstein’s restaurants Fat Bar, Fatburger, Eldorado Cantina and Rock & Reilly’s collected $5,000 for this year’s effort in its ongoing partnership with The Shade Tree. He and his wife, Patricia, handed off the check Monday, and Stephen and Judi Siegel of the Siegel Group contributed $1,500. Judi Siegel and other Siegel Group reps also handed out gifts for four hours.
Griffin toured the facility, which has 186 permanent beds and provides more than 100,000 nights of shelter and 165,000 meals annually for women and children in crisis. Many are victims of domestic violence. Griffin has supported the facility every year of the campaign since it was launched in 2013.
Following the event, Griffin talked of his career, saying he’s “back in the game” after his brief role in “A Star is Born.”
“The phone is ringing, I’m going back to work on the movie and TV side, I have a few things in the fire,” Griffin said. When I asked if there was more to say about these projects, he smiled and said, “Not yet. I’ll serve no wine before it’s time.”
Griffin said it was a “wonderful opportunity to work with Gaga, my good old friend Dave Chappelle, and Bradley Cooper.” Chappelle plays Noodles, a friend of Cooper’s Jackson Maine character.
Chappelle actually pitched Griffin for the preacher role in the film after watching Griffin take over fellow comic and longtime friend Charlie Murphy’s memorial service in April 2017.
Griffin, equal measures edgy and funny, recites that story at The Sayers Club, using salty language while holding his customized champagne and Patron cocktail. He’s talked with new SLS Las Vegas owner Alex Meruelo of The Meruelo Group about the future of his residency as the club is due for renovations as part of a widespread hotel makeover in 2019.
“He runs a tight ship, he’s entertainer friendly and he cares about the artist,” said Griffin, who opened at SLS in May after a successful eight-year stint at the Rio’s Kings Room. “Put it like this: He’s a mensch, if I was an old Jewish dude. He’s a very cool cat, very smart, not frugal to the point of watering down a brand or a product.”
Griffin added, “I think he’s bringing back the understanding that this is an entertainment city, and you can’t have entertainment without entertainers.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.